Latest Disaster planning and response News

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2020, file photo provided by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, area officials monitor a potential dam/levee failure in the Springridge Place subdivision in Yazoo County, Miss. Heavy rains and recent flooding across the Southeastern U.S. have highlighted a potential public safety concern for some dams. An Associated Press review has identified hundreds of high hazard dams in the South that lack formal emergency action plans. (David Battaly/Mississippi Emergency Management Agency via AP, File)

Hundreds of dams lack emergency plans in rain-soaked South

Feb. 21, 2020 3:27 AM EST

When recent heavy rains swelled a private Mississippi lake and began eroding its earthen dam, Yazoo County Emergency Management Director Jack Willingham was scrambling for a plan. He had no contact information for any of the homeowners who might need to evacuate, so he drove to the scene and began knocking on...

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2020, file photo provided by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, area officials monitor a potential dam/levee failure in the Springridge Place subdivision in Yazoo County, Miss. Heavy rains and recent flooding across the Southeastern U.S. have highlighted a potential public safety concern for some dams. An Associated Press review has identified hundreds of high hazard dams in the South that lack formal emergency action plans. (David Battaly/Mississippi Emergency Management Agency via AP, File)

Hundreds of dams lack emergency plans in rain-soaked South

Feb. 20, 2020 10:32 AM EST

When recent heavy rains swelled a private Mississippi lake and began eroding its earthen dam, Yazoo County Emergency Management Director Jack Willingham was scrambling for a plan. He had no contact information for any of the homeowners who might need to evacuate, so he drove to the scene and began knocking on...

Flood water surrounds the town of Upton-upon-Severn, England, with the normal course of the river Severn running horizontally under the road bridge, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis, in this photo taken with a drone Thursday Feb. 20, 2020. The regions of north and west England and Wales already battling with the aftermath of several days of rain have been told to expect further deluges, by the Environment Agency, with severe flood warnings in some areas including the river Severn. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)

UK's Johnson under fire for flood response as more rain due

Feb. 20, 2020 9:04 AM EST

LONDON (AP) — British authorities said Thursday that more rain will bring the risk of “significant flooding" in the coming days, as people in central England and Wales kept a close eye on swollen rivers that have already flooded hundreds of properties. Criticism grew of British Prime Minister Boris...

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2010, file photo, a massive fire following a pipeline explosion roars through a mostly residential neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif. A federal judge repeatedly ripped into Pacific Gas & Electric, saying its executives have put greed before safety. U.S. District Judge William Alsup told the utility at a hearing Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, that it should plan to have at least 1,100 more tree trimmers to reduce the chances that it will cause even more devastation. The harsh rebuke came in a hearing as part of PG&E's criminal probation imposed after its natural gas lines blew up a San Bruno, California, neighborhood and killed eight people. Since its probation, poorly maintained power lines have been blamed for igniting wildfires that killed nearly 130 people and destroyed thousands of homes. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Judge rips PG&E for poor safety record leading to wildfires

Feb. 19, 2020 5:26 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. judge ripped into Pacific Gas & Electric on Wednesday, saying its executives have put greed before safety and telling officials from the utility blamed for catastrophic California wildfires to plan to add at least 1,100 more tree trimmers to cut the risk of even more blazes....

New helicopter to help state monitor bears, survey flooding

Feb. 19, 2020 8:59 AM EST

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri officials are spending $3.6 million to purchase a new helicopter to help fight fires, survey flooding and manage wildlife. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Airbus H125 is expected to be delivered to wildlife officials from a dealer in Texas no later than mid-June....

Grants available to help counties clean up from floods

Feb. 19, 2020 4:27 AM EST

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A total of $500,000 in grant money is being made available to Kentucky counties to help with cleaning up flood debris, officials said. The funds will go toward environmentally responsible disposal of solid waste, according to a statement on Tuesday from Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy...

FILE - In this July 1, 2019 file photo, a homeless man moves his belongings from a street near Los Angeles City Hall, background, as crews prepared to clean the area. Los Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday, Feb.18, 2020 announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government's response to natural disasters. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

LA adopts new 'war room' strategy for tackling homelessness

Feb. 18, 2020 8:11 PM EST

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government’s response to natural disasters. The creation of a “Housing Central Command”...

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, center, is flanked by state and county emergency managers at a news conference at the state Capitol in St. Paul, on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, as he asks lawmakers to approve $30 million to replenish a state disaster aid fund that was drained by a string of disasters last year. (AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)

Walz seeks $30 million to replenish state disaster aid fund

Feb. 18, 2020 5:34 PM EST

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — With the threat of spring flooding looming, Gov. Tim Walz asked lawmakers Tuesday to approve $30 million to replenish a state disaster aid fund that was drained by a string of disasters last year. Walz said an updated flood forecast from the National Weather Service is expected in...

Water from the Pearl River floods Florence-Byram Road near Byram, Miss, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. Authorities believe the flooding will rank as third highest, behind the historic floods of 1979 and 1983. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Hundreds still flooded from homes in Mississippi capital

Feb. 17, 2020 4:06 PM EST

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The swollen Pearl River appeared to have crested Monday in Mississippi’s capital, but authorities warned the hundreds of evacuees in the Jackson area not to rush back home until they got the all clear, and a forecast of more rain put counties further south at risk of flooding....

Ranchers hit by Oregon flooding get donated hay for animals

Feb. 17, 2020 1:08 PM EST

TOLLGATE, Ore. (AP) — A club of off-roading enthusiasts in northeastern Oregon has revved into action to help livestock owners hit by extreme flooding this month. The Tollgate Off-Road and Recovery Club had just formed when devastating flooding hit their community on Feb. 6, destroying homes, washing out...